Economics Are Driving Egypt’s Move To Renewable Energy

The population of the Arab Republic of Egypt is approximately 102.86 million people[1]. In 2018, 100% of the people in this country located northeastern corner of Africa had  access to electricity[2].

In 2018, Egypt’s economy was ranked 40th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of natural gas, petrochemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals, fruits, rice, cement, and steel.

In 2016, Egypt signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to “high CO2 mitigation levels” by phasing out energy subsidies by 2021.  Egypt also committed to developing new zero-carbon emission power plants, renewable energy and nuclear power.

In 2018, the state-owned electric company, Egyptian Electric Holding Company (EEHC) used natural gas (53.3%), oil (39.8%), renewable energy (3.5%), and coal (3.4%) to generate electricity in the country[5]. Hydropower, biomass, and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy in Egypt.

New, utility scale renewable energy projects in Egypt include:

  • 200 MW Solar Project Saudi Arabian company, Acwa Power has recently commenced construction on the Kom Ombo solar photovoltaic power plant, located approximately 325 miles south of Egypt’s capital, Cairo. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by April 2020.
  • 252 MW Wind Project – The Danish wind energy company, Vestas has begun work on the Gulf of Suez 1 wind farm, which is located on the Gulf of Suez, approximately 150 miles southeast of Cairo. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.

Why is Egypt actively developing renewable energy? Economics pure and simple. The export of natural gas is a major source of revenue for the country, while the import of oil negatively impacts the economy.

Egypt has significant renewable energy resources, including solar, hydropower, and wind. The country’s renewable energy resources can easily meet the country’s current and future power requirements.  The Egyptian government’s goal is to use renewable energy for domestic power, while preserving natural gas for foreign export.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

 

[1] Egypt Africa Population (2020) –  October 12, 2020 www.worldometers.info

[2] Egypt – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] International Energy Agency – Egypt Energy Outlook

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